Loving Discipline vs Lustful Desires

We must be brutally honest with ourselves if we are to live as Christ’s disciples and build His Kingdom in loving relationships. Because as I share this couple’s story I have to say that this is not at all uncommon.  As a matter of fact it is very much so, and all too, common.

One Couple’s Battle with Porn/Porneia

They had been in my office several times and, while there was improvement, it was evident that there was still a lot of tension and struggle.  They met online after previous marriages—he had lost his wife to Parkinson’s and cancer, and her first marriage was destroyed by drugs, abuse and affairs.

The husband had attended a long-term residential sexual addiction/ pornography treatment facility prior to their marriage, admittedly to get it over with so they could get married and begin having sex.  Not surprisingly, the problems had continued and most of them were centered on porneia.

 Now they were on the brink of another divorce and neither wanted that, as they desired to honor The Lord.  We established accountability practices and placed blocks on every computer and phone, including exchanging a smart phone for a flip-up with no access to Internet.  After several meetings, things were improving. 

Before they arrived for a scheduled meeting, I had received a text that she was done and knew he was still looking at porn.  She’d “caught” him that day. 

He had called me on the way home from work and said he didn’t want to go home because he knew it would just be more of the same—accusations, angry words, fighting, and then isolation.

As they recounted the day’s events, she was convinced he was still actively pursuing porn and had just found ways to hide it.  I asked her, “Is there any proof over the last three months of porn use?”  She could produce no evidence.

It was obvious from his slumped posture and downcast look that he was a beaten man with little left to offer. He’d told her he was not involved in porn and had not looked at it for more than three months.

I could tell that her woman’s/wife’s intuition was strong and there was an issue.  I also knew that he was telling her the truth.  I looked at both of them and shared what The Spirit had laid on my heart, which has helped many over the years.

I began by looking at her and stating that I fully believed him. My individual meetings with him had revealed that he truly desired to rid himself of this porn “demon” and he had not even attempted to look at anything for nearly four months.  I also reassured her that there was still something he was struggling with and that is why she was noticing the frustration and distance.  He was not engaging in porn, as the world and enemy would have us see it in active pursuit and participation with videos, magazines, or screens.  He had been faithful in that regard.

He was encouraged by my comments to her.  The last 10 years of his first marriage had been sexless due to the Parkinson’s and cancer and his wife had been unwilling to pursue any sexual intimacy otherwise.  So he had done the “noble thing” by choosing porn over an affair(s).  He now realized the horrific fruit of that decision. So, I looked at him and asked him, “While you’re not pursuing porn as defined just now, you are still struggling with the videos and photos that play over and over in your mind.  Is that a fair statement?” 

He looked down at the floor and nodded his head.  It was not easy, but she was reassured that he was not seeking out porn and was willing to walk through the struggle of the porneia in his mind.  They would do this by both of them renewing their minds (Romans 12:2), taking thoughts captive and making them obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4-5), along with continued accountability and help.

His face softened for the first time in a long time and he shared with her that with The Lord’s help, and hers, he would get through this and be the husband that she always wanted him to be. 

They moved out of state a few years ago, but my last report from them was that they were doing very well and enjoying retirement together in the peace, Love and Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Notice there’s a clear contrast between God’s Truth and satan’s lies and deception in every single situation.  The enemy’s lies appeal to our flesh and we have great difficulty overcoming it (actually it’s impossible) unless we know God’s Truth!  We need to be in His Word, in prayer, in relationship/discipleship with other believers so we can know His Truth and overcome in it by the presence and Power of His Spirit making that Truth real in us.  It’s not by magic…He asks us to discipline ourselves and participate in knowing The Word through our own love and desire! 

What desires are you feeding?  What disciplines (good or bad) have you developed or are you developing?  This makes all the difference as to whether you are walking out your faith in His Spirit or satisfying and enslaving yourself to your own selfish desires in your flesh!  To be continued…

Resources for overcoming porneia and healing relationships:

Contact L&L to let us know what you’re thinking and how we can help.

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Make it a great day and God bless in Christ!

Love and Lordship…Food for Thought –God’s love and our selfish lustful desires cannot co-exist for long in our hearts, minds and lives.  One or the other will ultimately win out.  We will be a submissive servant to whichever is having it’s way in and through us. 

Love and Lordship…Action Item(s) – 1) Be brutally honest with yourself as to what your thought life consists of and where it’s leading you.  2) Confess and/or journal your thoughts as you and the enemy brings them to your mind; 3) Find Scripture that counters your selfish, prideful thoughts; 4) Confess your sinful thoughts as they only destroy and then find Scripture that replaces those thoughts and actions with His Truth; 5) Pray for The Lord to bring as you seek and ask for a more mature same sex accountability partner in your life to help you walk through all of this. 6) Pray and thank God every time you choose His Truth and Love over your lust and pride.